On Wednesday, January 17th, Volunteers gathered at West End United Methodist Church to prepare boxes of foods for families.
The food pantry is an outreach of United Methodist Church, but it is considered a community ordeal.
“We want the community to be involved in everything we do,” Pastor Jane Leechford said. “That’s what we’re supposed to do as a church – to work together as a community.”
The Food Pantry was started twenty-five years ago by Kenneth and Lula Fulcher – former members of the West End United Methodist Church.
“Kenny did all the work; he was the instigator of it all,” Frank Feggeler said. “He basically realized there was a need.”
Frank is the current orchestrator of the Food Bank at the church. Food is picked up from the Food Bank in Southern Pines. Food Lion also donates fresh food daily.
“It’s evolved over the years to become a big mission project that the church has,” Frank said.
The Food Bank location started at a storage base behind St. Mary Magdalene.
“It got cold in the winter. Ink froze in pens,” he said.
The location changed several times until it found its permanent base beside the church in June of 2002.
“It was growing, and we needed more space,” Frank explained.
Families are able to come in every other Wednesday to pick up boxes of food. The number of boxes they receive depends on the size of the family. At one time, they were serving 274 families.
“Last year we spent about $39,000 buying food,” Frank said.
The Food Bank now serves about 175 families. Ninety percent of their support comes from members of the church, with additional support from Women of the Pines, Women of Seven Lakes, Chapel in the Pines, Kiwanis, and more.
“We put faith into action… Love is action,” Pastor Leechford explained.
To make a donation to the Food Bank or to volunteer, contact West End United Methodist Church at (910) 673-1371.